In order to maintain good bone health and to ensure you do not end up with fractures in the hip and spine, exercise is recommended.
Benefits of exercise for bone health
Exercise increases muscle strength, improves balance and posture and decreases your chance of bone fracture. In some cases, regular exercise can relieve or decrease pain. Endorphins, the ‘feel good’ chemicals are also released in the brain post exercise.
If you have had a fracture before or are new to exercise, it is recommended that you consult a physiotherapist or biokineticist (or other qualified healthcare expert) to assist you in developing an exercise programme that is right for your body.
Below are some suggestions and ideas of different types of exercise to consider.
- Strength training exercises, especially if you suffer from upper back issues
- Weight-bearing aerobic (gets the heart rate up) activities
- Flexibility exercises
- Stability and balance exercises
Strength training exercises to consider:
- If you have never lifted or used weights before, make sure you start with someone who knows what to do, or ideally ask a personal trainer to guide you through a few sessions.
- Strength training can take the form of lifting free weights, resistance bands, or using your own body weight.
- This type of training also helps to maintain bone density
Weight-bearing aerobic exercises to consider:
- This type of exercise includes walking, dancing, low-impact aerobics, elliptical training machines, stair climbing and gardening.
- This kind of exercise works on the bones of your legs, hips and lower spine
- Include other types of exercise into your aerobic activities in order to ensure overall health
- Before and after you exercise, try and make sure you do some stretching in order to move your joints through their full range of motion.
- Perform these stretches slowly and don’t bounce or over stretch
Stability and balance exercises:
- If your bones are ‘brittle’, you want to try and improve your balance and stability
- Exercises such as practicing to stand on one leg, or taking up tai chi can help improve your balance.
Avoid the following exercise: High impact exercise such as running and jumping, as well as exercises with lots of twisting, such as golf, tennis, bowling and some yoga poses.